Interesting Drabble and Sanderson.

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by lui, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Hi All,

    I've acquired a late Drabble and Sanderson, I thought I'd post it here rather than in one of the other D&S threads, as it should be read in conjunction with a few of the other related threads.

    She's a D&S 27.5" rip saw with just over 3.5 ppi. The saw was covered in gunk when I had her, to a point where I had to use an old chisel to scrape most of it off before I could start cleaning her up.

    What emerged out of the gloom was very interesting, I knew there was an etch on the blade from the little I could see but I didn't anticipate the full clarity, depth and content of the etch.

    The etch is split into three elements. on the left nearest the toe, it reads.

    "Drabble & Sanderson" in and arch with "Warranted K Cast steel" The "K" is in a different type face. Below this is "Sheffield".

    To the right of this in a hand written script inclined at an angle "This saw is a Combination of Excellence, Beauty & Durability" signed "Drabble & Sanderson "

    To the left of this, and completely unexpected, there is another etch saying,

    "Made expressly for Evans & Co 311 Edgware Rd London."

    I googled Evans & Co and 311 Edgware Rd, with no luck. 311 Edgware Rd is now Paddington Green high security police station.

    Maybe someone with better recourses could find out more.

    The saw itself is dead straight with all its teeth, it has lost its nib at some point and does have signs of rust but no real pitting. The handle is in excellent condition with just the usual few scratches but no chips.

    One nice touch that came out of the gloom was the tooth size as a fraction of an inch, as seen on another D&S.

    One last comment that is hard to explain on the internet, is the sound of the saw. It is very ringy, if you hold the saw flat by the handle and tap the toe of the saw, it will ring for about 7-10 seconds. I have no other saw with this characteristic, most will ring but fade out in a second or two. It is very beautiful and odd at the same time.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  2. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Hi Lui,

    What more can you want, a lovely saw an etch to end all etches, a medallion and a dedicated supplier. And of course a mystery in the "K" steel. I know that it is a modernish saw and perhaps we (I) like to place a lot of emphasis on the older saw, but this is about as good as it gets.

    I wonder if the ringing is related to the type of steel or whether the "K" is just hype.

    I hope somebody knows, but in any event a marvellous find.

  3. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

    Drabble and Sanderson

    A very fine saw indeed! I think the ringing indicates a properly smithed saw, with the tension adjusted by a master - not what you get from a modern saw which is just polished cold rolled strip steel with teeth cut into it, no matter how wonderfully sharp those flame hardened teeth are to begin with.
    Here's a copy of my entry on this firm (what I haven't included with that is a picture of Benjamin Drabble's house, built about 1840 and still more or less as it always was)
    Benjamin Drabble, 29 Long Croft 1823
    James Sanderson, Steelhouse lane, Upperthorpe 1823
    Combined to form the partnership which became one of the town’s most well known and largest makers of high quality saws.
    Steelhouse Lane 1825-1828
    33 Russell Street 1833
    Ebenezer Works [Russell Street] 1837-1841
    37 Russell Street 1845-1859
    33 Russell Street 1862
    Ebenezer Works, 37 Russell Street 1868-1893
    Ebenezer Works, Morpeth Street 1895-1921
    Elect Works, Savile Street East 1922-1973
    1862: John Drabble and James Sanderson, refiners of steel, and manufacturers of files, saws, calico webs, and edge tools. When compensation for the results of the terrible 1864 flood of the Don valley was claimed, the firm was owned by Robert Howden and Thomas Wilkinson. Taken over by Spear & Jackson in 1907. London offices (administrative) from about 1870. This is an example of an old established name being continued for marketing purposes long after the original partners had sold out or died.
    NB. The mark for the 1910 “Kâ€pattern saw is very similar to several others by this firm of about the same period where the etch is too faded to reproduce; beside the “K†type, which had three screws and London pattern handle [usually applied to the common quality of saw], the firm seems to have produced additional hand saws marked “E†(also marked “London Spring†and presumably their top quality) and “Dâ€.

    PS There is no extant catalogue of this firm, unfortunately, and my remarks about the K pattern are obviously wrong, in the light of the pictures of Fred's lovely saw; my own K pattern is about 1910, which I think would do for Fred's as well. (This firm's etches are usually not as good as those by Tyzack, Sons and Turner, or S&J).
    I'll be happy to alter my entry in the light of Fred's new info. Thanks a lot.
  4. greyhound

    greyhound Most Valued Member

    I was looking for any refs to Howden and this only thread came up... "...firm was owned by Robert Howden and Thomas Wilkinson"
    I have/had 2 x D&S panel saws of similar age as Lui's saw with etches reading D on finer (10 points) pitched 22" saw with thinner plate and E on 22" 4 points saw. Perhaps these letters indicate a type/model of saws...
    pictures are here:

    Hope this might help...